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Friday, February 17, 2012


School Prevents Boy From Handing Out Valentines

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- A Sheboygan elementary school stopped a second-grader from distributing valentines he made for his classmates because they included a religious message.

Eight-year-old Dexter Thielhelm filled empty water bottles with candy and included a rolled-up Bible verse.

The valentines never made it into the hands of his classmates.

Officials at James Madison Elementary School collected them before they could be distributed.

The boy's mother, Melissa Wolf, said Principal Matthew Driscoll told her that the valentines were held because of district policy.

Wolf said that Driscoll told her that Christian valentines could not be distributed.

"I heard about it, and I read it in the paper, and I am outraged about that," Sheboygan resident Joan Reisinger said.

Reisinger is one of many who are mad, and the school superintendent is hearing about it.

"We're getting calls on both sides actually, on both sides, which is interesting," Sheboygan School Superintendent Dr. Joe Sheehan said.

Under the district's policy, any sharing of religious information must be approved ahead of time by the parents and the administration. That was not done in this case.

"Students can bring things for themselves. I mean, that's a whole different issue than bringing it and sharing it with other students," Sheehan said.

The Bible verse Dexter quoted was John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son." 

Now consider this:

Jackson Family Shares Holiday Traditions
photoA Jackson Elementary School second grader, along with his parents, recently taught his classmates about Hanukkah. During the presentation, the students learned how to play the game called Dreidel. Each child was then given a dreidel and gold chocolate coins. The students had fun while learning about their classmate's family traditions.
Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
December 22, 2010


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